Topic 7 mesoamerican and andean systems of exchange
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Topic 7: Mesoamerican and Andean Systems of exchange. By Brittany Romano and Katie Serron. Mesoamerican Systems of Exchange. The Aztecs

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Topic 7 mesoamerican and andean systems of exchange

Topic 7:Mesoamerican and Andean Systems of exchange

By Brittany Romano

and KatieSerron

Mesoamerican systems of exchange
Mesoamerican Systems of Exchange

The Aztecs

• The Market Place was the center of the Aztec Empire• There were many Markets around the empire, the biggest was Tlatelolco.• Any merchandise in the Aztec empire could be found in the marketplaces• To ensure fairness and safety, government officials were assigned to supervise. Violators would be persecuted.• The wheel was never used for transportation. Everything had to be transported by either foot or by way of water.• Because of the lack of technology advances, large caravans of people with goods traveled throughout the empire.• Merchants employed ‘bearers’ to carry the loads on their backs.• Merchants also acted as spies in the empire as they went on huge trading expeditions• The Valley of Mexico was covered by an abundance of lakes, canals and other waterways. The dugout canoe was used for transportation along these waterways.

Andean systems of exchange
Andean Systems of Exchange

The Incas

  • The Inca economy was not centered around money. It's main productivity came from fine pottery, cloth, valuable stones, and metalwork of silver, gold, and bronze.

  • The state produced food, weapons, and other goods for the support of the army. Inca subjects carried out mita, a form of labor tax. This allowed the Incas to aciculate food and other basic necessities. Incan civilians exchanged crafts and food amongst themselves.

  • The entire Inca Empire was connected together by a network of well-constructed roads. Suspension bridges extended over rivers and canyons, and were maintained by the local communities. Some of which are still present today.

  • Along the roads, there were many rest stops for people, such as the Inca army and other travelers. The army was facilitated in the houses and there were storehouses for the travelers. People traveled by foot, and they and llamas carried all loads.

  • The Inca did not use any wheeled carts or vehicles, because they were useless on the mountainous roads.

  • The emperor and nobles rode on litters, or seats mounted on poles and carried by men on their shoulders. Inca used boats and rafts on the major rivers, lakes, and on ocean voyages along the Pacific coast. For voyages along the Pacific coast and major rivers, the Inca used boats and rafts.

The columbian exchange


The Spanish introduce the encomienda to the Mesoamericans

When the slave trade began in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, the culture began to change hugely.

Silver was traded throughout the empire

Sugarcane was traded in the south

Cochineal cacao and indigo was also traded in the south


silver refinery at Potosi, Bolivia in 1700.

among the largest and most heavily capitalized industrial enterprises in the Western Hemisphere during this time period.

These silver mines attracted nearly 120,000 of foreign traders.

In 1680 the silver production in Bolivia and Peru dominated the Spanish colonial economy.

Later on, the Mexican silver production surpassed that of the Andean region

The Columbian Exchange

Mesoamerican vs andean


The markets facilitated trade

Large Caravans traveled many miles for transportation of goods

Didn’t use the wheel for travel

Aztecs used dugout canoes for travel in the valley of Mexico

Didn’t use money, traded for both tasks and merchandise

Occasionally used cocoa beans for currency


The roads facilitated trade

Rest stops scattered along the roads benefited travelers

Didn’t use the wheel for travel

Inca used boats and rafts on the major rivers, lakes, and on ocean voyages along the Pacific coast

Didn’t use money, used trade

Economy centered on fine pottery, cloth, valuable stones, and metals

Mesoamerican VS. Andean